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Friday, December 31, 2021

Our New Year's Special is now streaming!

We're ringing in 2022 by playing the songs that were featured in our New Music Bin in 2021.

Every week we pick five new releases, and each gets about a dozen top-of-the-hour spins during the next three weeks before settling back into our big, big mix.

We're playing our 2021 picks - in random order - from 6pm New Year's Eve until Noon on New Year's Day (Eastern Standard Time).

Join us for a great variety of current music, including lots of indie artists. As always, our stream is free and commercial-free!

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Last batch of New Music before the New Year: Superchunk, Bully, Parcels, Beach House, Lake 22

Superchunk: Endless Summer

Dubbed an "indie-rock institution" by Paste Magazine, this North Carlolina-based band will release its 12th studio LP, Wild Loneliness, in February. The album features several guest performers, such as Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake and Raymond McGinley, who provide harmony vocals on this first single. The song, says co-founder and singer-songwriter Mac McCaughan, "was written on New Year’s Day 2020, which was unseasonably warm here in North Carolina." From the lyric: "I miss the cold and I miss looking out for spring ... I'm not ready for an endless summer."

Bully: Just For Love

This new single was recorded during the sessions for Bully's 2020 album, Sugareggg. Stereogum writes that it "fits the same general mood as the tracks from that album. On its own, though, 'Just For Love' works as a noisy, nervy, hooky jam with a bittersweet undercurrent. It’s a prime example of what Bully does well." The stand-alone single was released in early December as the Alicia Bognanno-fronted band started a brief Eastern U.S. tour. No word if there's more to come.

Parcels: Somethinggreater

This track from the Australian band's second album was released last month and we've been spinning it on our nightly free-form show, The Detour. It's wormed itself into our ears, so we're moving it to the New Music bin. The NME calls Day/Night "a sprawling and inventive double album" that expands the band's sound beyond the first album's disco formula - although some of that remains in this track, a "reclined and understated '70s anthem with a Chic guitar line and a bouncy bassline."

Beach House: New Romance

The third of four chapters of Once Twice Melody is due in mid-January, but meanwhile we're featuring another track from chapter two. This number rolls along in a dreamy, Beach House-y groove, while the lyrics suggest turmoil. Victoria Legrand told Apple Music: "'New Romance' existed, just the music, for quite a long time. It really had this intensity to it. It was like a pop song, but it was more psychotic, a little bit scary." For the lyrics, "I really wanted to write something that felt so visual and large. So, the song actually is pretty wild, like new romance, which is, in theory, it's such an exciting feeling. It's also terrifying, because you don't know what's going to happen."

Lake 22: Control

As '21 comes to a close we want to pull out another track from '22's midyear release. This Seattle-area quintet draws on many musical influences on its self-titled debut album. This track has a throwback sound, and we don't mean to the 90s. Maybe the 40s? The band describes it as "a hybrid of rock, pop and Broadway" that deals with "the challenges of staying in control of things in your life from health concerns to relationship issues." The already high energy level jumps even higher when the horns kick in midway through.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Best Coast + Joe Bonamassa + Small Town Sindrome + Animal Collective + Lala Lala = New Music Variety

Best Coast: Leading

The duo of Beverly Cosentino and Bobb Bruno released Always Tomorrow in early 2020, but their planned tour was scrubbed due to the pandemic. As they prepare to try again (fingers crossed), they're issuing a deluxe edition of the album with several new tracks, including this single. "As Always Tomorrow turns two years old, and we finally set out to tour the album the way it was meant to be toured in the first place, the album evolves into something brand new," Cosentino says. Paste Magazine says this track "has trembling guitar, brash drums and lively vocals that reimagine the band’s power-pop sound as more 'power' and less 'pop' than before." It also features backing vocals by teenage rockers The Linda Lindas.

Joe Bonamassa: Notches

We're catching up with the blues-rock guitarist's latest album, Time Clocks, which came out a couple of months ago. Blues Rock Review writes that "Bonamassa really digs deep lyrically on this album and it feels more personal. Of course, there is great guitar, but Joe’s songwriting has never been better." This track is a co-write with Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke. We're featuring a 4-minute "radio edit" in our New Music rotation, but promise we'll also play the full 7-minute track.

Small Town Sindrome: On My Own

From Grand Rapids, Minnesota (pop. 11,000, not to be confused with the Michigan city of 199,000) comes this "high-energy pop-punk / alt-rock band." We're featuring just one of the catchy tracks on its recently released second album, It Only Gets Worse. The LP was produced, recorded and mixed by Pete Steinkopf of The Bouncing Souls.

Animal Collective: Walker

This track is a tribute to pop-turned-avant-garde musician Scott Walker. Band member Panda Bear (Noah Lennox) has said it was written around the time of Walker’s death in 2019, adding, "he’ll always be a big inspiration.” The trippy track will be included on the band's 11th album, Time Skiffs, due in February. Stereogum reviewer Tom Breihan calls the song "a sunny, mind-blown piece of mutant pop ... [with] a loping beat and echoed-out percussion; the backing track reminds me a bit of Remain In Light-era Talking Heads."

Lala Lala: Color of the Pool

We return to I Want the Door to Open, this fall's release from Chicago musician Lillie West. She delivers the cryptic lyrics (Driving through the fog / I couldn't tell which way was down / Three rabbits on the road / A message from a different realm) over a looping rhythm track, bubbling synth and layered backing vocals, ending with a sax solo by Adam Schatz.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Frank Turner, The Wild Feathers, Momma, Houndmouth, Coco added to our New Music bin

Frank Turner: Haven't Been Doing So Well

The title of his upcoming ninth album, FTHC, stands for Frank Turner Hard Core, and this advance single is one of his harder-rocking numbers. Consequence of Sound calls it "a rousing, cathartic track capturing the emotions many people have experienced during the pandemic." Turner says "It’s been a difficult time for a lot of people and their mental health, myself included, and discussing that openly is important to me. So this is a song about anxiety and the struggles that come with that.” It ends with a good reminder not to suffer in silence: "And maybe, just maybe / I'll admit that I could use a little help."

The Wild Feathers: Side Street Shakedown

We previously featured a couple of early singles from Alvarado, the Nashville-based band's fourth LP and the first to be self-produced. We're dipping into it again to pull out this this rollicking track. New Noise magazine says "there is a rawness and immediacy to Alvarado that has never been as obvious before on any of their earlier efforts. The driving, guitar-heavy 'Side Street Shakedown' is solid proof that this is much more than just another traditional Americana band."

Momma: Medicine

Love is the drug, lifting me higher, hooked on a feeling, addicted to love... Is there room for one more song comparing infatuation to intoxication? Sure, why not? "One hit / And I'm higher than I've ever been / One kiss / And I'm hooked on your medicine." The duo of Etta Friedman and Allegra Weingarten previously released two indie albums. They're joined by bassist Aron Kobayashi Ritch and drummer Zach CapittiFenton for this first single on the Polyvinyl label.

Houndmouth: Miracle Mile

The new album Good for You marks a return to the band's Indiana roots, as NPR puts it. "The trio avoided a recording studio in favor of their longtime headquarters, a shotgun house from the 1850s, and recruited producer Brad Cook, who helped them take a less-is-more approach in those recording sessions. The result is a recharged band and a refined batch of songs." But No Depression reports the fresh departure of bassist Zak Appleby, reducing Houndmouth to the duo of guitarist-vocalist Matt Myers and drummer Shane Cody, and describes the album as a potential farewell. It's filled with reminiscences from years of crossing the country on tour, like this song that references several cities along the way.

Coco: Last of the Loving

The members of this band kept their identities secret while releasing a few singles over the past year, wanting the music to speak for itself (or was it just to generate buzz?). With the recent release of their self-titled debut LP, we learn they are a trio of musicians from other bands: Maia Friedman (of Dirty Projectors, Uni Ika Ai), Dan Molad (of Lucius, Chimney), and Oliver Hill (of Pavo Pavo, Dustrider). This song, they say, "portrays the feelings and sentiments of a blossoming relationship.” Although it was written before the pandemic, some lines seem very timely: “The world turns and moves while you exist in a new little bubble."

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Latest new-music picks: Dentist, NHC, Yard Arms, North Mississippi Allstars, Northern Quarter

Dentist: Spilled Coffee

Here come fresh greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., where this trio formed in 2013 and has been rolling out "surf-punk" music ever since. This is their third single this year; their next album, following 2018's Night Swimming, is expected in the coming year. Under the Radar writes that "the band’s fuzzy surf guitar riffs are now met with dark, churning basslines and anxious lyricism." Says the band: “For this single, we wanted to release something that coincides with the feeling you get moving from fall into winter. ‘Spilled Coffee’ has an ominous vibe, but it’s also something you’d want to dance to, to help move away from your upcoming seasonal depression.”

NHC: Devil That You Know

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and Jane’s Addiction’s members Dave Navarro (lead guitar) and Chris Chaney (bass) combine their talents (and initials) in this band that's planning an album for 2022 release. Navarro has said it will have 12 tracks and a wide "emotional range." Loudwire writes that this single "starts with a fiery, squalling guitar line from Navarro but pulls back into more melodically hypnotic verses sung by Hawkins."

Yard Arms: Pirouettes

The Bristol, U.K., band built around the duo of Noah Villeneuve and Billy Golding continues refining a sound that its publicity says evokes "classic '80s influence of The Cure and Echo & The Bunnymen with more present-day indie acts such as The National, Bleachers and Death Cab For Cutie." This new single "playfully explores the concept of Karma and the fragility of modern day brain health."
Brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson and a rotating cast of collaborators have been making a blend of blues, rock, bluegrass and other ingredients since the mid-90s, producing a dozen albums and collecting four Grammy nominations. Their latest album, Set Sail, is set for release next month. This track features vocals by Lamar Williams Jr. and Sharisse Norman. Williams' late father was the bassist in the Allman Brothers Band in the mid-70s. The Dickinsons and Williams Jr. met while playing on the Allman Family Revival tour with The Allman Betts Band, Robert Randolph and others.

Northern Quarter: Perfect Fit

Hailing from "the charming Albertan mountain town of Canmore," this indie-pop quartet draws from genres "ranging from indie folk to jazzy lounge-style vibes." Vocalist and lyricist Kerry Hunter often draws on her own life experiences - as on this track. The band's drummer-producer, David Crewe, told Mountain FM that the song "was actually written by Kerry as a gift for her husband, and she sang it to him on their wedding day as a surprise. They have a lot of friends who play music so they had kind of an open mic going on at the wedding, so she surprised him by getting up and singing the song that she wrote."

Sunday, November 28, 2021

New Music by Screens 4 Eyes, Glass Violet, Pete Yorn, Andrew Leahey, Soda Blonde

Screens 4 Eyes: What to Make of You

The latest release from the project of Tel Aviv-based musician Yael Brener is an EP, Meridians, consisting of three new tracks. It joins two albums, another EP and several stand-alone singles in the S4E catalog - some recorded with a band and others, like this one, with Brener playing all the instruments. Her brand of "indie dream pop / electro rock" is marked by dark vocals and swirling keyboard sounds creating a sense of mystery.

Glass Violet: Indigo

We've just been introduced to this indie band from Bristol, U.K. Its five members cite The Killers, Kasabian and The Strokes among their influences. They strive for "arena-size" songs with "huge choruses and melodramatic breakdowns." They've released a handful of singles in the past two years, but this is the first to reach our ears, and we're happy to pass it on to yours.

Pete Yorn: Elizabeth Taylor

The iconic actress is mentioned only in passing in this song, and we don't really know what the line means: "Why'd you have to go all Elizabeth Taylor on me?" Yorn doesn't really explain it when he says the song is "about picking yourself back up, dusting yourself off, and getting the f**k back out there.” This is the first tease of his upcoming ninth album, expected in early 2022. It's called Hawaii -- for reasons that are equally mysterious, at least for now.

Andrew Leahey & the Homestead: Keep the Car Running

We previously featured "Good at Gone" from this Nashville-based outfit's new album, American Static, Vol. 1, and now we're putting this high-powered track into our New Music bin. (Never mind that it was released as a single early this year. Don't go all Hermione Granger on us!) "Originally a celebration of the idea of hearing a song so powerful on your car radio that you won’t turn off the ignition until it ends, the track has evolved into an anthem of resilience," wrote Rolling Stone. Said Leahey: “It’s about finding your own stability during times that threaten to knock you off balance.”

Soda Blonde: I Still Have Feelings for You

This Dublin band released its first full-length album, Small Talk,in July. Now they're back with an EP consisting of stripped-down versions of four of the LP's songs, including this single. The arrangement suits this song about the difficulty of letting go: "I still can’t manage any memories that you come into / I still get weak, out of true."

Saturday, November 20, 2021

The latest adds to our New Music bin: July Talk, Lake 22, Elephant, The War on Drugs, Sting

July Talk: I Am Water

While touring to support their 2020 album, Pray for It, the Toronto-based group has spun out this high-energy single. While the lyric seems to deal with existential questions, the band's announcement of the song emphasized its ebullient sound: "Don't know about you, but we have so much pent-up energy from staying inside over the pandemic and we just wanna dance + let it out! We hope that it brings you all sorts of joy, and that you can blast it in your kitchen and let loose."

Lake 22: I Want to Hate You

The buzz from the Seattle music scene spread through college radio and has now reached us - so we're catching up on this quintet's self-titled album, released several months back. The band's bio says its music "is shaped by the grunge rock of the 80s and 90s, the Punk movement, and their parents’ record collections of classic rock, pop, and jazz." This punk-ish rocker suddenly switches gears with a jazzy piano break. Other tracks on the album go off in even more directions. Variety - just what we like!

Elephant: Calling

Photo by Jose van der Weide
We've been spinning a couple of tracks from this Rotterdam-based band's initial EP, and now we have the first single from its debut full-length, Big Thing, due in the new year. The quartet describes its sound as "sunny melancholy in a major key." This song is described as a response to pandemic lockdown, which caused many people to reflect on their lives: “Sure, I’ll work as hard as I can in this life / For a house, a car, a kid and a wife / But I’ll try to build something, out on my own / that can’t be torn down after I’m gone.”

The War on Drugs: Wasted

Compared with 2017's densely-arranged A Deeper Understanding, the Philadelphia-based band's new album, I Don't Live Here Anymore, sounds "looser and less toiled-over without losing the detail" of frontman Adam Granduciel's songwriting, AllMusic writes. This track features a quick pulse behind lyrics that seem to be the conflicted ramblings of someone trying to come to grips with a breakup: "Our lives are disconnected much too soon."

Sting: The Hills on the Border

On his new album, The Bridge, Sting reprises the Police sound with "Rushing Water," goes all-in on light pop with "If It's Love," and explores his jazz and classical influences on other tracks. We're featuring this stylistic stand-out, a folky fable that, Riff Magazine says, "with its violins, accordion and plenty of mood, sounds like a cross between Richard Thompson and October-era U2."

Saturday, November 13, 2021

New Beach House, Ana Egge, Creamery Station, Diamondtown, They Might Be Giants in our mix

Beach House: Once Twice Melody

The process of releasing "albums" keeps evolving. The duo of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally is bringing out a new 18-song collection, titled Once Twice Melody, in four "chapters" over four months. It's the eight Beach House album, and the first produced entirely by the band. The first installment was just released, and we're featuring the title track. "Working with a live string ensemble for the first time, they summon a sound more surrealistic than anything on 2018’s 7," writes Pitchfork, adding that this song, with lyrics about "basking in the faraway places constructed by a wandering mind ... evokes the sensual slowness of a hot summer day."

Ana Egge: Wait A Minute

Photo by Shervin Lainez
This Canadian-American singer-songwriter's music crosses genres of folk, country and pop/rock without fitting neatly into any of them. She recently released her 12th album, Between Us. Folk Alley describes our featured track well: "From the snare shot that opens the song to soulful Memphis horns that cascade in a shower of golden notes, 'Wait a Minute' shuffles exultantly into our hearts and gets us up and dancing." The lyric could apply to politics or interpersonal relations. Says Egge: “Often times things can be worked out if we take the time to slow down together and talk and listen. And we need to do that in order to stop reacting to each other. When we’re just reacting, we’re still stuck in ourselves.”

Creamery Station: Crazy Night

This Connecticut-based band "relies on its diverse players and diverse influences to bring forth performances in the tradition of the 'Jamband' genre, allowing them to take the music anywhere the moment moves them," says its press release. It released its second album last year and is working toward a third, with songs "conceived and developed by the ensemble during the pandemic months of outdoor rehearsal sessions, when live shows were few and far between." The seven-member group, formed in 2014, wears the influences of the Grateful Dead, The Band, Little Feat and the like on its collective sleeve. 

Diamondtown: Everyday Is Monday

We sail down east to find this band formed by veterans of several groups from the Nova Scotia music scene. It started with the duo of KC Spidle and Evan Cardwell, accompanied by a drum machine, and has grown into a quintet. This opening track on their self-titled album starts with a few beats from that drum machine before the full-band sound kicks in, with Meg Yoshida on drums. "This record is the most rocking thing we’ve done up until this point," says Spidle. "I think adding Meg to the fold was the crucial element to make it sound like a band.”

They Might Be Giants: Moonbeam Rays

Photo by Sam Graff
Nearly four decades into their music career, John Flansburgh and John Linnell continue to innovate. Their latest album, BOOK, packages 15 songs with a 144-page book of Brooklyn photographer Brian Karlsson's work and with lyrics styled by graphic designer Paul Sahre. We've been playing the single "I Can't Remember the Dream," and now we're featuring this rocker with a nasty-breakup lyric (that doesn't refer at all to its title). Hot Press calls the track a Big Star-comparable pop gem, while Glide Magazine says it "feels like a Yo La Tengo jam." Mostly it sounds like TMBG being TMBG.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Brand-new music by Spoon, Land of Talk, Foals, Smokey Brights, Cat Dowling

Spoon: The Hardest Cut

Photo by Oliver Halfin
The Austin-based band says the tenth album in its 25-year career will be its "purest rock 'n' roll record to date." Vulture writes that this first single "makes good on that promise ... pairing heavy detuned guitars and a jaunty solo (inspired by ZZ Top, per lead singer-songwriter Britt Daniel) with another of the band’s expectedly catchy choruses." The LP, spookily titled Lucifer on the Sofa, is scheduled for release in February.

Land of Talk: Moment Feed

Elizabeth Powell recorded her new EP on a Canadian pandemic-assistance grant that required her and her Land of Talk bandmates (Mark “Bucky” Wheaton on drums, Pietro Amato on keyboards and Amato, Chris McCarron and Erik Hove on brass) to record five songs in ten days. “I thought this was just going to be a secret release that the band never shared," says Powell. But four of the songs are being released under the title Calming Night Partner. During the making of this song, Powell says, "I kept envisioning a time when we’d finally get to play live shows again. A room full of bodies swaying, heads bopping, eyes smiling. All of us together. Together again. I believe this song was made to warm up the room in all senses.”

Foals: Wake Me Up

Photo by Edward Cooke
Here's another song written during lockdown while dreaming of live shows. “We wanted to create a contrast between the outside world and the music that we’re writing inside this small room,” frontman and guitarist Yannis Philippakis tells Consequence of Sound. “We couldn’t help but reimagine ourselves on stage and how euphoric it will be once it returns.” The band is prepping an album for next year, the first since 2019's Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2 -- and the first since the departure of keyboardist Edwin Congreave. Philippakis describes it as a “dance/disco record ... For this one, it’s back to a sweaty, late-night dance floor -- a going-out record.” Both the sound and the title remind us of Parquet Floors' "Wide Awake" -- we'll have to play them together now and then! 

Smokey Brights: Unity

Photo by Jake Hanson
The story goes that Ryan Devlin and Kim West bonded over pizza and music. They met while slinging pies at a south Seattle restaurant, soon began writing and recording songs together, and self-released their first album in 2014. Along the way they got married. Drummer Nick Krivchenia and bassist Luke Logan round out the band, which just released a pair of singles following up last year's LP I Love You But Damn. This track, West tells American Songwriter, “is a rally cry against division; an anthem against apathy."

Cat Dowling: Animals

This Dublin-based indie-pop artist has fronted bands, released a solo album in 2013 and worked on various collaborative projects. Now signed to FIFA Records, she has released a few singles this year leading up to this week's release of her LP, Animals. This title track, Dowling says, "starts as minor and ends up major. It's about the major and minor of life and of love and the constant pull in everything between major and minor and the light and the dark. It's a song ultimately of passion, wildness, sensuality and love."

Saturday, October 30, 2021

New: Elvis Costello, My Morning Jacket, Jeen, Sunflower Bean, Andrew Leahey & The Homestead

Elvis Costello and The Imposters: Magnificent Hurt

"A new album of urgent, immediate songs with bright melodies, guitar solos that sting and a quick step to the rhythm” is how the veteran rocker describes The Boy Named If, due in January. Costello says its 13 songs “take us from the last days of a bewildered boyhood to that mortifying moment when you are told to stop acting like a child — which for most men (and perhaps a few gals too) can be any time in the next 50 years.” Stereogum writes that this first single "sounds a whole lot like something that Costello might’ve made in the late ’70s. The song has a pounding backbeat, some perfect organ interjections from longtime bandmate Steve Nieve, and a lead vocal with some real snarl in it."

My Morning Jacket: Complex

After last year's release of leftover tracks from the Waterfall session, the band is back with an album of fresh material. (Seems they couldn't come up with a fresh title, though, so it's called My Morning Jacket.) New York's WFUV radio says it's "packed with everything fans look for in a My Morning Jacket album: Fully-developed, rich, anthemic rock anchored in American roots and adorned with dense layers of opulent psychedelic guitars, soaring vocals, and complex, progressive melodies."

Jeen: Recklessly

Jeen (O'Brien) says she "started writing ‘Recklessly’ last summer when my head was spinning like everyone else. Always feeling like the bottom could drop out any second. Being a musician can be challenging on a good day and I never made a plan B. So I felt that pretty hard last year and this year as well. Like that rush of not having a safety net, but maybe wishing you did.” The song is on the Toronto-based artist's new LP, Dog Bite, which also features the single "Maybe I'll Be Gone," which entered our mix a few months ago.

Sunflower Bean: Baby Don't Cry

It's been a little over a year since the Brooklyn-based trio of guitarist-vocalist Nick Kivlen, bassist-vocalist Julia Cumming and drummer Jacob Faber released its last single, "Moment in the Sun," so it's good to hear from them again. No word on whether an album is in the works, but the band is about to begin touring again after a pandemic hiatus. This song, they say, "is about how so many things in our lives are disposable. Content and news is consumed and discarded leaving us unfulfilled. 'Baby Don't Cry' is about enjoying the real. The things right in front of us that give us meaning and how sometimes, even sad songs can give you that warm feeling of hope."

Andrew Leahey & the Homestead: Good At Gone

This Nashville-based songwriter and his band just released the first half of a planned 18-track double-album, American Static Vol. 1. The band's combination of guitar-driven arrangements and storytelling lyrics bring frequent comparisons to Petty and Springsteen, but a review by The Alternate Root says the group is "a decidedly cohesive outfit that isn’t indebted to any other entity and their rugged, determined stance results in songs that are singularly stirring and flush with resilience and resolve." About this song, Leahey tells American Songwriter: “I spent four years remaining in transit the whole time. I like crazy schedules like that, but I don’t like the fact that I’ve grown accustomed to being apart from my wife for long periods of time. ‘Good at Gone’ deals with that realization. It’s a song about distance, guilt, long hauls, and payoffs.”

(Photo credit: Chad Cochran)

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Band of Horses, Southern Avenue, Danielia Cotton, Hush Club, Season of the Senses in New Music bin

Band of Horses: Crutch

Five-plus years after Why Are You OK comes the first taste of Things Are Great, the upcoming sixth album from Ben Bridwell and his stablemates. This guitar-driven song plays on the words crutch and crush. Says Bridwell: "Obviously ‘Crutch’ means some of the things that I was dependent on. My relationship for one. I think I wanted to say, ‘I’ve got a crush on you,’ and I thought it was funny how relationships also feel like crutches. I feel like everybody has had a time when nothing goes right and you still have to carry on. I think that feeling hits you in this song even if you don’t know what the specifics are.”

Southern Avenue: Push Now

We're late catching up to Be the Love You Want, the third album from this Memphis-based outfit. AllMusic wrote that "this set adds big-beat R&B and funk" to the group's mix of blues and soul "without sacrificing any of their rootsy appeal. ... Further, the songwriting towers above previous efforts." It was co-produced by the band's lead guitarist, Ori Naftali, and Los Lobos' Steve Berlin, who "brought in horns, additional keys, and backing singers. They created a studio atmosphere to highlight the sublime, resonant lead vocals (and lyrics) of Tierinii Jackson with a new emphasis on their killer rhythm section of drummer and backing vocalist Tikyra Jackson, and rocksteady bassist Evan Sarver."

Danielia Cotton: Supercool

This is the second single to come out ahead of the New York-based singer's next album, following title track "Good Day." Both songs were co-written with Nashville songwriter Jeff Cohen, and both have a sunny outlook that contrasts with some of Cotton's more serious compositions. This track is a straight-up love song with echoes of '70s R&B. The advance publicity promises the January release will include a wide range of tunes: "Once again, [Cotton] will go from soul to arena-like rock to a beautiful moaning blues ballad."

Hush Club: One More Year

Another band formed in the big college town that is Boston, this trio is about to release its second album, Fingerprints & Stains. Their music is billed as "weaving together finely crafted melodies, lush textures, and soul-searching poetry." Alasdair MacKenzie (bass, vocals), Chris Haley (guitar, vocals), and Liz Kantor (keys, vocals) cite Fleet Foxes and Dawes among their influences, and this track also would mix well with the likes of Real Estate and Wilco.

Season of the Senses: Young & Strange

We're always happy to add new and different sounds to our mix, so we bring you the debut single by this duo from Guelph, Ontario. Multi-instrumentalist Damian Weston and singer Elena Stocco met in a local online group early this year. Weston, who'd been creating music for film and TV, was looking for a collaborator and found Stocco, for whom singing was "just a hobby." Weston told local news site Guelph Today that when he heard Stocco sing, "it blew my mind that she was not professionally trained." And Stocco said when she heard samples of Weston's compositions, "I was kind of blown away by the songs he has in the works." They began working together remotely and recorded this song before ever meeting in person. (They have, since, and have more songs on the way).